Everything Old Is New Again: 7 Years Ago Someone Else Tried To Sue WiFi Hotspot Operators Too

from the so-many-patents,-so-little-time dept

We recently wrote about a new patent troll called Innovatio, which was suing a bunch of coffee shops, restaurants, supermarkets and hotels, claiming that by offering WiFi hotspots, they were infringing on its patents. Glenn Fleishman reminded us of a very similar story from seven years ago, when Acacia (one of the biggest patent trolling operations out there), got some patents and went after various hotspot providers, similarly asking them to pay (relatively) small amounts ($1,000/year) to “license” the patents in question. The patents in question are different from the patents being used by Innovatio. However, if you think these two companies are the only ones to hold patents that cover some aspect of WiFi, think again. While, as far as I know, Acacia eventually gave up on this strategy, if Innovatio continues, just watch various patent holders come out of the woodwork. Operating a WiFi hotspot may mean getting hit up weekly to pay off the next round of patent trolls.

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Comments on “Everything Old Is New Again: 7 Years Ago Someone Else Tried To Sue WiFi Hotspot Operators Too”

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Anonymous Coward says:

“It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: —

“We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!”

-Rudyard Kipling

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Um, no. It’s not like a speeding ticket – it’s more like getting a fine because your car doesn’t meet EPA standards when you drive it off the lot.

The proper people to sue for WiFi patents (assuming the patents are valid, of course) are those manufacturing the WiFi hardware, not the ones buying that hardware.

Anonymous Coward says:

IP is just to subjective to have any relevance in real world situations, those people claiming such a things didn’t prove any concepts, didn’t prove they had a working prototype, didn’t show how to build anything or how to create the market for it, instead they go after people who do and invest a lot of time and money trying to really make something that works.

staff says:

another biased article

?Patent troll?

Call it what you will…patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, etc. It all means one thing: ?we?re using your invention and we?re not going to pay?. This is just dissembling by large infringers to kill any inventor support system. It is purely about legalizing theft.

Prior to eBay v Mercexchange, small entities had a viable chance at commercializing their inventions. If the defendant was found guilty, an injunction was most always issued. Then the inventor small entity could enjoy the exclusive use of his invention in commercializing it. Unfortunately, injunctions are often no longer available to small entity inventors because of the Supreme Court decision so we have no fair chance to compete with much larger entities who are now free to use our inventions. Essentially, large infringers now have your gun and all the bullets. Worse yet, inability to commercialize means those same small entities will not be hiring new employees to roll out their products and services. And now some of those same parties who killed injunctions for small entities and thus blocked their chance at commercializing now complain that small entity inventors are not commercializing. They created the problem and now they want to blame small entities for it. What dissembling! If you don?t like this state of affairs (your unemployment is running out), tell your Congress member. Then maybe we can get some sense back in the patent system with injunctions fully enforceable on all infringers by all inventors, large and small.

For the truth about trolls, please see http://truereform.piausa.org/default.html#pt.

Masnick and his monkeys have an unreported conflict of interest-

They sell blog filler and “insights” to major corporations including MS, HP, IBM etc. who just happen to be some of the world?s most frequent patent suit defendants. Obviously, he has failed to report his conflicts as any reputable reporter would. But then Masnick and his monkeys are not reporters. They are patent system saboteurs receiving funding from huge corporate infringers. They cannot be trusted and have no credibility. All they know about patents is they don?t have any.

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